Bullying was the topic. Toronto, Sarnia, Kingston, Collingwood, Kitchener, London and Cambridge talk radio are no match to the Lorne Brooker Show in Belleville today. Can you believe it? A beautiful white swan graceful swam by as we proceeded to broadcast the Lorne Brooker Show live, on the air in Belleville. Listeners from all over Belleville, Trenton, Hastings, Quinte and Prince Edward Counties were tuned in. We talked about bullying as it was in the past. We talked about cyber-bullying and the bystander. We talked about bullying attitudes. The phone lines lit up and our callers told interesting stories about how bullying had touched their lives. Lorne Brooker made thoughtful comments and confidently steered the conversation in an appropriate direction. Callers shared their views about how money should be spent to help reduce bullying in the Belleville-Quinte area. We talked about bullying in the Hastings Prince Edward schools and how a 10-year old girl named Mary had written a letter about her own bullying experiences that touched a nerve with so many in the community. Her mother helped create a brand new organization called Parents Against Childhood Bullying – PACB. The scenery was so beautiful from the fourth floor studio window, yet the subject was disconcerting at times. Solutions to society’s bullying problems are not easily found, but I certainly agree that one of the steps involves community dialogue.
Talk radio is alive and well in Belleville Ontario Canada!
Bruce Langford was in Belleville as a keynote speaker at The Hastings and Prince Edward Human Services and Justice Committee Conference 2012 along with speaker Dr. Bruce Ballon, Head A.C.E.S. for Problem Gambling. Dr. Bruce Ballon was speaking on the topic of Internet Addiction and Mr. Bruce Langford was speaking on the theme of ‘Stand Up Against Bullying’.
A 10-year old girl in Belleville Ontario is taking a stand against bullying at her school. She says verbal and physical attacks toward her have been ongoing and she has had enough. She wrote a letter explaining details about the bullying she has been experiencing. She says she spends recess in the kindergarten room because nobody will play with her, and explains that she feels alienated and dejected. Her mother believes that the school staff is not protecting her daughter.
These are certainly serious allegations. Although I don’t know all the details surrounding the situation, I have a few suggestions to hopefully calm the waters.
1. I encourage the girl’s parents to set up a meeting with the teacher. Have a list of concerns to address and suggested outcomes. Take notes. Insist on a specific plan of action.
2. After 5 days, re-evaluate the situation. Has the bullying stopped? Has the situation improved? If not, set up a meeting with the principal and make a written plan. Set a date for a follow-up meeting to talk about whether or not things have improved. No child should feel unsafe at school.
3. Ask to see the bullying prevention action plan set out by the school. Ask what initiatives have been put into place to encourage respect and reduce bullying. Insist that you are looking out for the well-being of your child.
Do not give up. Continue to connect with the teacher or administrators to carry out the plan of action. If the plan of action is not working, insist on an alternative. Be aware of the Hasting and Prince Edward District School Board’s commitment to providing caring, safe, respectful and inclusive learning environments for all students. Do your best to remain calm and professional, yet strong with your assertions that your child be provided with the caring, safe and respectful environment referred to by the school board.
I will be most interested in the outcome of this situation and am optimistic it will come to a positive conclusion for all involved.